The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Legislative Communications Policy

To:Members of Advisory Councils to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Commissioner
Date:October 25, 2011

I want to welcome all Board of Elementary and Secondary Education advisory council members, and to thank you for your willingness to work with us to improve educational opportunities for all students in the Commonwealth.

At this time, I want to address the Board's and Department's policy regarding testifying before legislative committees and communicating with individual legislators or their staff in writing or in person. Presenting testimony to the Legislature and communicating with legislators or their staff on behalf of the Board or the Department are the sole functions of the Chair of the Board and the Commissioner, or persons specifically designated by them.

Members of advisory councils and other officially sanctioned groups appointed by the Board and Department have the right as individual citizens, on their own time, to petition for and comment on legislation before the Legislature (the Great and General Court). However, except where expressly authorized to represent the Board or the Department, advisory council members must not indicate that they are speaking on behalf of the Board or Department, or a Board advisory council. Instead, they must make clear that they are presenting their views as individuals or on behalf of an outside organization with which they are affiliated.

I appreciate your attention to this important policy. If you need further clarification, please contact your advisory council liaison.

Again, I thank you for your contributions as members of advisory councils to the Board and the Department.

Last Updated: November 3, 2011

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

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